MLA Newsletter Editor Annual Report 2018

submitted by Michelle Hahn

List of Previous Goals and Progress Made

  • Alignment of online publication practice for archival purposes. In 2012, the MLA Newsletter transitioned to an online-only format, published on the Open Journal System platform. In December 2016, we upgraded to the latest version of the platform, which unfortunately did not carry over the online-only issues in their entirety. Namely, images were not retained, but the textual content is intact. As a result of those issues in the upgrade, improvements in the PDF which have made it ideal for archiving, and the improvement of mobile technology for viewing PDF, the Board has approved a change to PDF-only publication moving forward. In order to bring the previous online-only issues “back from the dead”, I will be making an effort to transform those issues into PDF for posterity.
    • Continued recovery and catching up after the infamous incident at the MLA Orlando 2017 meeting have limited my ability to spend the time needed to complete this goal of rescuing the lost HTML-only issues since the last annual report. However, I have determined a process and workflow to more efficiently complete it in the coming year. The transition to PDF-only has been successful, and in conjunction with the MLA Archivist and MLA Web Manager, I am working to ensure that they are discoverable on the web–PDF is in fact findable on the web and mobile-friendly, and has been for quite some time, negating the need for an HTML-based format simply for findability and mobile access.

  • Enhance the MLA Archives of the Newsletter. I have not yet submitted printable versions of the Newsletter to the MLA Archives, and the online-only versions were also not archived in that way. I will be working to get all of those printed and to the MLA Archives for posterity as well.
    • Working with the MLA Archivist, I will be engaging in a scanning project (partially pending MLA Budget approval) to get the issues of the MLA Newsletter which have only been available in print into a globally accessible digital form with the current issues. Though I have not made printed copies of PDF for the recent issues, it was determined that it may not be necessary as the MLA Archivist is working on digital archiving. Should the need come up, I will pursue it.

List of Future Goals

  • I will continue to pursue content by and about the association and its members to improve access to it through the MLA Newsletter, potentially in conjunction with the Web Manager, Web Team, and Publicity & Outreach Officer to disseminate that content in a wider variety of ways, such as the MLA Blog and other social media outlets.
    • Goal Area: Organizational Excellence Objective 2; Goal Area: Value of the Profession-Objective 2.
  • Previous strategic action plans have named the MLA Newsletter Editor as the one to create an “advocacy forum.” That plan is in progress, and has been awaiting the results of the Advocacy Task Force and pending creation of the Advocacy Committee. I have been in contact with the Web Manager for the structural development of the advocacy forum on the web. I have been in contact with members of the IAML Advocacy Committee and the ALA Advocacy Committee and will continue contact with those groups for guidance and best practices. And I will work with the MLA Advocacy Committee for the creation of content.